Patent application title: Sandpad
Alfred Gallegos (Camarillo, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47G906FI
Class name: Beds ground mat
Publication date: 2013-01-24
Patent application number: 20130019404
The Sandpad is a framed oversized beach towel/blanket that is portable
and lightweight for beach and picnic use. The embodiment is a framed
towel/blanket that is composed of collapsible PVC tubing of which the
longitudinal sides are held together by 6 mm elastic cord and an in-line
PVC coupling. The tubing is slid through sewn sleeves along the outer
edges of the fabric, which keeps the fabric straight, taut and flat on
the sand or ground. It provides a clean and pleasant surface, easy
assembly, and is easily detached for storage.
1. I claim a framed beach towel or blanket comprising fabric with sewn
sleeves and collapsible plastic tubing.
2. I claim according to claim 1, the frame composed of 4 sides, of which the 2 longitudinal sides are collapsible and attached by 6 mm elastic cord. The 2 transverse sides that are equal to each other, attach to the longitudinal sides to keep the embodiment flat and taut.
3. I claim according to claim 1, the sewn sleeves of the fabric which allow easy insertion of the tubing on all four sides to keep the fabric flat and taut.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 Not Applicable
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 Not Applicable
REFERENCE TO A SEQUENCE LISTING, ETC.
 Not Applicable
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The invention relates generally to beach towels/blankets, more specifically directed to devices and techniques for preventing the sides of the towels and blankets from being blown and folded over by wind or wrinkled by body movement While the prior art towel/blanket devices fulfill their respective and particular objectives, the prior art does not disclose a towel/blanket with a framed assembly that allows the towel/blanket to stay straight, flat, and taut. In these respects, the Sandpad departs from the conventional concepts of the prior art in doing so. The Sandpad provides an apparatus developed primarily for the purpose of keeping a towel/blanket straight and taut on ground surfaces.
 The Sandpad also lies snug to the ground regardless of body movement or wind conditions. The present invention is light-weight, easy to carry, and easily assembled/disassembled. It is also easy to clean and keep clear of other debris. Common to the prior art, although the amount of sand may not be extreme, the surface sand that does accumulate causes a great deal of discomfort to beach goers. Removal of the sand requires the towel/blanket to be occasionally lifted from the sand or ground and shaken clean. Typically when a towel is shaken, especially on a crowded beach, sand is scattered onto nearby sunbathers and their towels. With the Sandpad, all that needs to be done is to stand and then tilt the Sandpad on its side, and all the sand and debris falls away directly beneath it.
 Various other devices have attempted to address these particular concerns, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,299,331 by Badillo, Nilsa E. But with its multitude of attachments, bumpers, and fasteners, it is too cumbersome and time-consuming to assemble. Another example is U.S. Pat. No. 3,935,653 by Klien, William H. But this blanket stake device still does not satisfy the need for a straight, taut, easy-to-assemble beach article.
 Collectively, the patents referenced below, while providing a minimal amount of comfort, particularly at the beach, do not address easy usage as simply as the Sandpad does.
TABLE-US-00001 #6,721,973 Cristino, Joseph Apr. 20, 2004 #4,654,906 Roberts, Barry N. Apr. 07, 1987 #5,713,383 Ramirez, Yvonne Feb. 03, 1995 Carlton, Martin A. #5,524,309 La Barbera, V. Gail Jun. 11, 1996 #4,927,118 Pierorazio, Donato May 22, 1990 #4,634,618 Greer, Keith B. Jan. 06, 1987 #5,499,411 Wong, King Mar. 19, 1996 #6,463,605 Swagger, Jr., David Oct. 15, 2002 #6,199,230 Parikh, Christina M. Mar. 13, 2001 #4,272,575 Egigian, Robert S. Jun. 09, 1981 #5,390,890 Ferguson, Lois G. Feb. 21, 1995 Corsi, Michael D. Domani, Paul M.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 It is the object of the present invention to provide a framed device that will have a practical utilization for holding towels, blankets, and mats straight, flat, and taut on any ground surface. The object of the invention will appear to those skilled in the art from the illustrated embodiment and the claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING
 FIG. 1 depicts the Sandpad fully assembled, with the frame sections inserted through the sewn sleeves of the fabric and locked into place.
 FIG. 2 depicts the frame alone, in exploded view to provide detail on its interconnections.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 The Sandpad consists of two principal components: a single fabric piece large enough for a person to lie on fully extended, and a PVC tube frame which surrounds the fabric and keeps it taut and flat at all times.
 The fabric piece is standard heavy-duty, high-quality cotton-based cloth, such as terry or chenille, as may be used to make towels/blankets. Its distinguishing feature is that each edge is folded over 2'' and sewn onto itself to create a sleeve through which a tube can be slid and retained. In addition, each corner of the fabric is cut off at a 45-degree angle to create an exposed end of each sleeve for ease of inserting the tubes and for ease of connecting the tubing, as described below.
 The tube frame consists of six separate pieces of PVC tubing, along with the couplings needed to form them into a rigid rectangle. The two long sides of the frame are of such a length that a single piece of tubing on each side would be unwieldy to transport, so the frame on each of those sides is made of two shorter sections of tubing, connected permanently by an internally-mounted piece of small elastic cord, and an in-line coupling which allows for the two pieces to be straightened and joined in the middle into a single long piece for insertion into the fabric sleeve, then removed and folded into two pieces again for easy transport.
 Once the tubing pieces are inserted into the fabric on all four sides, there is an L-shaped coupling permanently attached to the end of one tube at each corner which is then connected to the adjacent piece, thereby creating a rigid frame to keep the fabric stretched within it. Every coupling end which is intended for the insertion and removal of an adjacent piece of tubing is enlarged by 1/32'' inside diameter to make it easier to perform those operations.
Legend for FIG. 2
Sandpad Frame, Exploded View
 A1 40''×1'' pvc tubing, with 8 mm hole drilled 1'' from one end.  A2 40''×1'' pvc tubing.  B 54''×1'' pvc tubing.  C1 2''×1'' pvc 90-degree elbow coupling.  C2 2''×1'' pvc 90-degree elbow coupling, with 8 mm hole drilled 1'' from one end.  D 11/2''×1'' pvc coupling.  E Open ends of C1, C2, and D are hollowed out to 29/32'', to a depth of 1''.  A1, A2, C2, and D are connected together by 6 mm elastic cord, knotted at ends through holes in A1 and C2.  B and C1 are permanently attached, hand-tight only.  A2, C2, and D are permanently attached, hand-tight only.
Patent applications in class GROUND MAT
Patent applications in all subclasses GROUND MAT